I think we’ve established by now that Children’s Crusade is a chronological series and consequently that these reviews will contain spoilers for previous issues. So, if you haven’t read the previous comics, probably stay away from this review.
Issue 3 of Deus Ex: Children’s Crusade begins to build on the set-ups in Issue 2. As such, it’s a lot more interesting than its predecessor. From the get go, this issue ramps things up. It reveals the names of both the captured woman and her daughter: Helena and Emilia, respectively. Until now, these characters have been set pieces in the comic in the sense that they merely catalyse action. In this issue they become much more… human? – I’m not entirely sure that’s the right word for an augmented family.
After Jensen rescued her, Emilia is detained in an interrogation room. She’s quizzed on everything she knows about the terrorist threat and their actions. She’s shown the hateful propaganda that Titus broadcasts. And in a particularly, emotional scene, Emilia begins declaring that she hates ‘them’ – ‘them’ being the human population. It’s quite profound to see a child caught up in this pseudo-civil-war, and to see the effects of all this tension on a younger – less grizzled – mind. The whole thing is an interesting comment on hatred fuelling hatred.
While the whole situation is outraging Emilia, her and her mother are causing all manner of grief both within the team and in the outside world. In the aftermath of the rescue Jensen has discovered that someone in Task Force 29 is dirty: dirty to the extent that they knew the boy (in issue 1) would blow himself up. Not only does this charge the conspirator with the death of a child, but the death of a member of the task force too.
Of course, we begin to expect some sort of twist. And as Jensen transports the recently united Emilia and Helena, a car crashes into theirs. Helena is shot and killed, and Emilia is kidnapped by the members of Task Force 29. Mac upholds his detestable persona by urging the team to kill Jensen as well, however the team disagree saying, ‘that’s not how we do things’. Miller gave a number of specific directions regarding the transport of Emilia, so right now, he seems to be the one who orchestrated this whole deception. Of course, we want to look at Mac as the big bad guy. But, if you ask me, this whole conspiracy is a bit too complex for this simple character.
Another important reveal exposes one of the aug-terrorists as a blood relative to Titus King. Maybe there’s a bigger story here, perhaps one that explains Titus’ immense hatred?
All in all, the newest instalment of Deus Ex: Children’s Crusade was a definite step up from the rather dull Issue 2. In typical Deus Ex fashion, conspiracies start to emerge and aug-human relationships spiral downhill. Children’s Crusade has set up an immersive story, and I think at this stage it’s safe to say that the remaining comics will be the best of the series. It will be crazy to see Jensen go head-to-head with Task Force 29 – as I’m assuming he will. and the whole Emilia situation is shaping up to be an interesting one.
Oh, and once again, those propaganda posters didn’t disappoint.